SYRACUSE – Janet Reistrom is striking out on her own. The accountant has launched JR Financial Solutions from her Cicero home. Reistrom, a 2000 graduate of Le Moyne College’s accounting program, formerly worked for the Syracuse offices of Ernst & Young, LLP and Dannible & McKee, LLP. Reistrom began exploring the possibility of starting her own business after a friend asked for help in straightening out his financial records.

JR Financial Solutions – a sole proprietorship – provides accounting and bookkeeping services to small businesses and individuals. Reistrom offers weekly or monthly office visits for bookkeeping. She also prepares tax filings, such as sales-tax and individual-tax returns. JR Financial also offers training for a company’s own bookkeeping staff.

Reistrom has five clients so far. A network of friends and family members has helped her to pick up new business. Reistrom belongs to professional organizations and networking organizations, such as CNY Edge, that put her in contact with prospective clients.

“Bankers, attorneys, and insurance agents are all sources for accounting clients,” she explains.

The ability to work closely with a single financial professional, says Reistrom, can be more appealing for fellow entrepreneurs.

“The clients can deal directly with me instead of having to go through layers,” she adds. “I offer the personal touch.”

Her initial client base contains a crosssection of small businesses, including a real-estate broker, an attorney, and an equipment dealership. She’s concentrating on Onondaga and surrounding counties for her business.

Reistrom can also help entrepreneurs ensure the financials in business plans are realistic and make sense.

“Sometimes projections in business plans are not in line with what’s really possible,” she explains.

Reistrom uses computer bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks to track clients’ finances. The software, developed by California-based. Intuit, Inc., allows businesses and individuals to enter financial information and use it to calculate billing, tax, and other business information. The program comes in several versions designed to meet the needs of different businesses. Some versions cost under $200, while “Professional Services” editions can sell for about $400. Reistrom is certified to teach the use of QuickBooks.

Reistrom is preparing for the fourth part of her certified public-accountant examination. The CPA exam sections test Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts. CPA candidates must obtain a passing score on all four accountingtest sections before receiving a state license. Before licensing, candidates must also complete a period of supervised work, generally two years. The State of New York allows several combinations of education and experience to meet its CPA licensing requirements.

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